Lies, Damned Lies and State Forests


Media Release 30 August 2001

South Coast Charcoal Plant –
Lies, Damned Lies and State Forests

The South East Forest Alliance today warned that State Forests (the NSW logging agency) was not to be trusted in its defence of the massive new woodchipping proposal to feed a charcoal plant at Mogo near Bateman’s Bay on the South Coast.

“We have heard the same tired lies from State Forests and the logging industry for the last 30 years about woodchipping simply cleaning up forest waste,” said spokespersons for SEFA. “This week State Forests has renewed these pathetic lies in support of the charcoal plant.”

“State Forests is claiming that a huge amount, an additional 200,000 tonnes a year, can be ripped out of South Coast forests for charcoal without intensifying logging or felling more trees. This is an absolute nonsense, it just does not add up.”

“Currently 42,000 m2 of sawlogs a year are taken from the South Coast forests with up to another 90,000 tonnes directed straight to the Eden woodchip mill. If we accept the repeated lie that the 90,000 tonnes to Eden is from waste generated by the saw log operation, State Forests is claiming that there is still nearly twice as much useable timber again still left lying on the forest floor. If we do not accept this lie, State Forests has to massively increase its logging to supply the charcoal timber.”

“The truth is that any remaining material, upper trunk, branches or stumps from current operations is simply uneconomic for collection, whether for charcoal plant or chipmill. If it were economic, the woodchippers would have grabbed it years ago.”

“In any case, this material is desperately needed for recycling into the soil to sustain the forest ecosystem, already under extreme pressure from the unsustainable logging and woodchipping.”

“State Forests has also disclosed that it will send potential sawlogs to the charcoal plant, logs which were supposed to be retrieved from the woodchip pile by the controversial new salvage sawmill at Eden.”

“State Forests has claimed that it will provide a detailed, creditable report on the proposed sources of timber. It did the same when it supported an almost identical proposal to log the western woodlands for charcoal some eighteen months ago.”

“The truth is that State Forests’ report claiming that the timber was available in western forests on a sustainable basis was completely discredited by both conservationists and other government agencies. The report was even rejected by the Carr Government despite its desperation to support the Lithgow silicon smelter.”

“The truth is that there will be no independent or public scrutiny of State Forests’ resource claims for the Southern forests. This is because that State Forests has been exempted from Environment Impact Statements by the Carr Government for all forestry operations in areas covered by the so called Regional Forest Agreements.”

“We will not even get the degree of scrutiny that we were able to achieve on the proposed Dubbo/Gunnedah charcoal plant in western NSW where the Government had to at least conduct a nominal forest assessment because there was no Regional Forest Agreement in place.”

This entry was posted in Charcoalition, News Coverage. Bookmark the permalink.